I found them earlier this year. Paint peeling, marred with scratches and gouges, scarred with rusty scabs, I knew they would be perfect in my little country garden.
I like to think it was manifest destiny, a magnetic pull that brought me to their hiding places two states away. Trapped within a rusty boneyard of repurposed old metal, I saw through their neighboring junk and felt myself mesmerized by their rough, rusted beauty. Although still winter, I was already dreaming of their scrolled curves flanked by green leaves, the sun glinting through their open filigrees, a flowering vine creeping carefully up their metal spines. I knew their home would be my garden.
So after patiently waiting in my dark shed all spring, a few weeks ago they saw their future home for the first time. How they sun must have quickly warmed their cold metal as I brought them into my slowly awakening garden. We moved them here. Then there. And back. Until I had found the perfect angle in that far corner of my garden. They were perfect, just as I had imagined. They were like long lost friends that I had stumbled upon, not realizing it was garden destiny.
That day we sliced the warm dirt apart with a pick, digging a thin slit in the ground to anchor the heavy weight of its frame. And as we carefully tamped the dirt down around its base, there was a magical moment when my red scrolled gate stood on its own, rising above my garden, whispering wordlessly of that enchanting, magical threshold that gates and doors instinctively evoke. And begging questions like
What is beyond? Where will this lead? And Where have I been?
Where do your dreams meet the reality of the dirt? Your dreams, too, may find themselves leaned up against a wall in your shed, far from sight and farther from mind. No matter the business of life, the errands to run, the schedules to keep, the procrastinated projects pulling at you, they will be there still, waiting in the far depths of your mind patiently.
Collecting dust and being pushed further and further into corners, they will wait.
Until one day you come across them again, still beautiful in their dusty, dirty, abandoned corner. Maybe you will have forgotten all about the bright hope they once shone in your heart. Or maybe it will seem like just yesterday when you daydreamed of them constantly, feeling they were just within reach. Will you have the courage to pull your dreams from the depths, dust them off, and move them around in your life until you find the perfect place within your garden?
That day this winter, with my new finds somehow strategically fitted into our vehicle, my heart fluttered with dreams of terra cotta pots, filled to the brim with cascading petunias, seated happily upon my white rusted garden bench. Of oversized clematis blooms climbing vigorously up the sides of my red rusted gate. And of the sense of magic I knew they would instantly ignite within my growing garden.
I couldn’t wait for my coneflowers to open their bright petalled eyes this summer to see their new neighbors. A dream, small as it was, that came to find its feet planted stoutly in the dirt.